With the summer holidays coming up, it’s normal for teens to be busy working summer jobs and spending their free time hanging out with friends. However, it’s also important to try and encourage teenagers to continue with some sort of learning to ensure they progress academically rather than being affected by summer learning loss. Writing activities are a great idea for continuous learning, especially as you can make projects long, short or fun daily tasks. Writing regularly not only helps improve literacy and handwriting skills but can also stimulate creativity and be an enjoyable way to spend time. Here’s some activities sure to engage your teen and get their writing skills flowing!
Start a Blog
Encouraging your teenage son or daughter to start an online blog is a wonderful way for them to practice their writing and computer-based skills. They can write about anything they’re interested in whether that’s beauty, gaming, art, fashion, music, space, wildlife or being eco-friendly. Writing a blog means they can write about the things they like in any way they want, as well as giving them space to add in their own thoughts, opinions, headlines and photographs. It’s also a wonderful way for teenagers to start recognising their true interests and being able to communicate and form their own opinions.
Write A Short Story
Writing a short fictional story throughout the summer holidays is a fantastic way to build up spelling and grammar skills and can be very enjoyable, especially for teenagers who enjoy being creative. Encourage them to choose a theme, plan out characters and some chapters. You could even go as far as setting mini deadlines for them and making it a summer-long project.
Keep A Summer Journal
Writing in a journal is an excellent summer activity for teens to get involved in. Not only does journaling encourage creativity, it also helps teens organise their thoughts and feelings. Encourage your teenager to make time at least a few times a week to simply free write in their journal. Whether they’re documenting their summer break or writing about nothing in particular, it’s all great practice. If your teens need a bit more to go on before they sit down to journal, keep things interesting by making a jar with suggested topics or prompts inside. All they have to do is pick one out and start writing!
Most teens love movies, music, gadgets, beauty products or books - so what better way to incorporate learning than to get them to write reviews about them? Ask them to think about what makes that particular ‘thing’ good or bad and get them to evaluate it fairly. They could even start the process by writing a pro and con list. It’s also a good idea for your teens to read other reviews too as this will help them get an idea of what they need to mention and the style of writing that’s used. Great questions they can ask include:
- Were the characters believable?
- Was the plot intriguing?
- What was the theme, mood, or atmosphere?
- Did it hold true to characteristics of its genre (thriller, comedy, romance)?
- Is the item good value for money?
- Did the item do what it claims?
- Would you buy it again?
- Did you enjoy using the item?
Write Poetry or Song Lyrics
It’s important to try and tap into areas that your teen is interested in when it comes to writing during the summer holidays. Perhaps they have an interest in music so would enjoy writing song lyrics, or maybe they prefer writing shorter, crafted pieces, so having a go at creating their own poetry might be more enjoyable. Remember, any writing practice is still practice!
Use Lists or Prompt Books
A great option even for the most unenthusiastic teens is using activity books with writing prompts, questions or lists inside for them to follow. There are so many wonderful options out there that offer a bit more guidance, but still promote learning as well as encourage them to be creative with their written ‘answers.’ Whether your teen would prefer writing out and drawing a comic strip or answering questions about their likes or dislikes, there’s an option for everyone. Here’s a few of our favourites.
The 52 List Project
Everyday Quick Writing
One Line A Day
The 5 Minute Gratitude Journal for Teens
The Mindfulness Journal for Teens
Learn, Grow, Succeed!: A Kids Growth Mindset Journal
642 Things To Write
Creative Writing: A Journal with Art to Kickstart Your Writing
Dare to Write: Creative Writing Prompts for Young People
101 Story Starters for Teens
Create Your Own Comic Book
Blank Comic Book for Kids